A divorce is the termination of a marriage. In contrast, an annulment is a declaration that the marriage never existed in the first place. In both of these cases, a marriage will end, but in the case of an annulment, a court will simply declare that the marriage never existed at all.
In Colorado, an annulment is also called the Declaration of Invalidity. There are several reasons why a person can move to have a marriage declared invalid.
Include the following:
Lacking the capacity to consent
When you apply for an annulment citing this reason, you claim that your spouse or you did not have the capacity to consent to the marriage, because of a number of factors including intoxication at the time, influence of drugs, or mental condition.
Failure to consummate the marriage
Ineligibility for marriage, because one of the persons was below age, and did not have the permission of the parent or guardian at the time
Coercion or force
Fraudulent misrepresentation of the other party, which resulted in the marriage
A marriage in which one person was already married to another, or bigamy
You do not have to prove any of these grounds to get a divorce. You can obtain a divorce citing irretrievable breakdown of the marriage. Simply put, you will claim to the court that you want to end the marriage, because you are no longer compatible with each other. You do not have to prove fault to obtain a divorce.
In contrast, you must provide the court solid proof that the marriage is invalid and qualifies for an annulment. To understand whether your marriage qualifies for an annulment, or for help getting your marriage annulled, speak to a Colorado family lawyer.